Manchester is certainly one happy place to Bee (excuse the pun!) and today we are totally buzzing with excitement at bringing you the story of newlyweds Suzie and Aaron. Apparently, it all began in the popular Manchester department store Selfridges! After clocking each other across the accessories floor one pivitol day at work, it wasn’t long before love blossomed and they began planning their fabulous Manchester Hall wedding!
Their wedding journey began with a trip down memory lane. Suzie and Aaron’s first date took place at the Oast House in Spinningfields, Manchester. A year later, on Aaron’s birthday, they popped back for a tipple and before Suzie knew it, Aaron was down on one knee. Suzie tells us that she had previously thought (and hoped!) that Aaron would propose. Events such as her birthday and romantic holidays were clear contenders. This was therefore the perfect surprise, and without hesitation Suzie said YES!
Their Wedding Vision
They tell us that deciding on their style of wedding was one of the most stressful points of their wedding planning. They were torn between beach and boho, countryside and traditional, or urban and modern. Suzie’s family is also largely in America, and Aaron has a big family in the UK. Suzie had always envisioned her wedding in the USA. Fortunately, the American family decided that the wedding was a great excuse for a road trip. This helped the couple to make decisions and they opted for an urban Manchester wedding. Their only wish was for lots of laughter and a black and white dance floor!! Wishes granted!
Suzie and Aaron’s wedding ceremony took place at the impressive St Ann’s Church in Manchester city centre…
…. followed by a reception at the fabulous Manchester Hall. Suzie tells us that once they’d decided on their city wedding, Manchester Hall was mid-renovation. They had no idea how it was going to look once it was finished but fell head over heels with its history and location and decided to go for it.
This iconic Manchester venue is bursting with period features including pillars, oak panelling, the stunning floating staircase and high ceilings. In addition, there are modern touches, such as contemporary chandeliers.
The Dress Journey!
Suzie tells us that finding her wedding dress was THE best experience. She had so much fun but, at times, did find it a little overwhelming. We think that most women who’ve got married can relate to this! Suzie first paid a visit to one of How to I Do‘s featured businesses, the fabulous Lulu Browns in Whalley. With her two friends for moral support, (Suzie’s mum was in America), she openly admits she didn’t have a clue where to start. In the words of the beautiful bride, “the team at Lulu’s were so amazing and patient.” After trying on a number of gowns, Suzie left feeling confident and that she knew the type of dress that she wanted.
Keen not to purchase on day one of dress shopping, Suzie headed to the big smoke. This time with her Mum and Sister in tow, she tried a handful of other bridal boutiques. Despite finding dresses she loved, Suzie admits to being a sucker for good customer service (this must be the Selfridges in her!). Again in the words of the bride, “None of the other shops made me feel anywhere near as special as the team at Lulu’s did.”
Creating ‘The One!”
Suzie then headed back up North (yay!) and back to Lulu’s. Good call Suzie! She had seen a beautiful Jesus Piero gown but felt it just wasn’t quite her. She also spotted another dress with a high neck that she loved but the skirt again was not quite right. However, Suzie did not despair as the team at Lulu Browns ensured Suzie had the best of both worlds (or dresses!). A customised Jesus Piero wedding dress was created, with a bonus detachable train, to take it from a day time stunner to night time dazzler. Suzie tells us that she could not have loved her dress more. We do too Suzie!!!!
Suzie confesses to buying her wedding shoes six months before they even got engaged!! When you know, you know, right?! She just couldn’t resist the perfect pair of Jimmy Choo’s that were on sale, with a matching clutch might we add! Suzie tells us that after Aaron proposed, she actually said “thank god I bought the shoes!!!” To add a bit of sparkle, Suzie also purchased some earrings from APM Monaco.
Hair and Makeup
Suzie was torn between an up or down do for the big day. To show off the neckline of her dress, Suzie opted for an up-do in the form of a sleek and simple ponytail. Her skilled stylist Sophie Fletcher was a real calming influence the morning of the wedding.
As for makeup, Suzie did her own. She went for a dewy glow and a bold red lip adding some 1950’s glamour to a simple, modern look. Suzie tells us that she can not recommend the Christian Louboutin red lipstick enough. Pricey but worth it, apparently!
Aaron’s wish was to have a suit that fitted him perfectly and he had a very specific colour in mind. Aaron therefore made the wise choice to go tailor made. After previously having a shirt made by Richard Smith, another of How to I Do‘s featured businesses, Aaron returned to discuss suits. After a few consultations, Richard created Aaron a statement suit – a striking, contemporary two piece that fit him like a glove. Success!
Bridesmaids were Suzie’s 4 best friends, her 2 cousins and her sister. These glamorous gals looked fab-u-lous in their black jumpsuits! Suzie says she couldn’t have wished for better people to surround her on their big day. It was so important to have them with her in the morning helping her get ready, laughing and keeping her calm. That’s what friends are for!
Suzie’s niece and goddaughter also made beautiful flower girls.
The 4 groomsmen were Aaron’s best friends from different chapters of his life. They also had Suzie’s nephew as page boy. The groomsmen wore traditional 3 piece blue suits sourced from Slaters with ties perfectly matched to Aaron’s bespoke suit.
Flowers and Decor
The Golburn Suite where they held their Manchester Hall wedding breakfast is tastefully decorated in cream and gold, and home to a stunning centre stage chandelier and spectacularly high ceilings. The couple therefore wanted tall centrepieces with gold and cream, hanging candles, greenery and roses. Luckily, Suzie’s sister is one talented florist and her company, Stem Design, alongside family friend and renowned florist Julie Chamley, took care of all things floral.
And who doesn’t love a bit of wedding DIY?! The frames for the centrepieces were actually tall lamps that the couple purchased from an auction. To create their desired look, they dismantled them, sprayed them gold and drilled holes so candles could be hung. Don’t they look the part!
Food and Favours!
Manchester Hall took care of the catering. We hear that all the guests LOVED it! The couple opted for a combination of sophisticated cuisine and classic Northern fare! They ate mini beef and ale pie canapés, a goats cheese and beetroot starter, a seared hake main course followed by the notorious sticky toffee pudding. We’re sold!!
The show-stopping, stylish wedding cake was made by the award-winning Jon’s Cakes, Tottington.
Even the favours were gold! The couple had small bottles of Gold Bottega Prossecco for each guest with little thank-you cards tied to each one.
The music was a HUGE factor for this couple – they wanted it just right! With the violin being Suzie’s all time favourite instrument, it was only fitting that they had String Infusion for the ceremony. Then, waiting outside the church to accompany them on their walk to Manchester Hall were King Brasstards! At the venue the couple enlisted the talents of Jukebox Band. They had an acoustic trio during the drinks reception and dinner and then a 6 piece band at night. For their first dance the couple chose two meaningful songs. The first, ‘I Won’t Let You Go’ by James Morrison and the second ‘Diamonds and Pearls’ by Prince. Apparently, one of the couple’s first debates was who best knew the lyrics to the Prince song ‘Get Off’!
The amazing Beth Alderson captured these magical and stylish shots. The couple tell us that, “She honestly ran around all day capturing every perfect moment. We could not recommend her enough. Such a talent”. Go Beth!
The couple also enlisted the help of good friend Alex Macleod who created a beautiful video for them to cherish.
The Best Bits?!
The newlyweds most memorable moment was after the ceremony, as they walked from the church to the venue. They literally stopped traffic on Deansgate with the brass band and all of their closest friends and family. Suzie tells us, “We were at the front and could not stop smiling and laughing. We then stood outside Manchester Hall with the band still playing behind us as we welcomed and hugged every one of our guests.” Sounds like happiness to us.
Advice to those planning a wedding?
The couples advice: “Don’t drink tooooooooo much! It’s so important to remember and cherish every moment of the day. Let us tell you, even though it is so much money for one day, it is sooooo worth it! The day disappears so take it all in. Finally, definitely get a videographer so you can re-live it over and over again!” Wise words there.
Before we buzz off, a heartfelt ‘thank-you’ goes out to Suzie and Aaron for allowing us to share their wonderful wedding day! We wish you a lifetime of love, laughter and half price Jimmy Choos! Cheers!
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